human-trafficking

Modern Slavery

“He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” Isaiah 61:1b (NIV)

It has been identified in various ways: modern slavery, modern day slavery, forced labor, sex trafficking, sex trades, trafficking in persons. The U.S. Department of State says, “The United States government considers trafficking in persons to include all of the criminal conduct involved in forced labor and sex trafficking, essentially the conduct involved in reducing or holding someone in compelled service” (retrieved from http://www.state.gov/j/tip/what/).

God has been growing in the hearts of the FCS community a deep compassion for those held captive by various forms of modern slavery… This compassion is fueled by a heartfelt desire to do something about that suffering.

Since the winter of 2013, God has been growing in the hearts of the FCS community a deep compassion for those held captive by various forms of modern slavery—especially women and children who are being held captive for purposes of sexual exploitation. This compassion is born out of the calling to fulfill Jesus’ mission “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” (Isaiah 61:1b). This compassion is increased by a growing awareness of the suffering of those held captive. This compassion is fueled by a heartfelt desire to do something about that suffering.

FCS is doing something by committing to a vision of releasing and restoring the lives of those who need to be rescued from modern slavery. This commitment has inspired us to invest our prayers, our time, our current and developing spiritual and clinical knowledge, our ongoing clinical training, and our resources for the sake of those previously held captive. This commitment has also inspired FCS to develop ministry partnerships with three different organizations whose missions are to restore the lives of those affected by modern slavery—two in New Mexico and one in Georgia.

“Freedom House is a group of homes in New Mexico dedicated to restoring the lives of prostituted, sexually exploited, sexually abused or sexually trafficked women. A three phase program beginning with a decision to leave the past behind and stepping into a new future. Through detoxing, counseling, therapy, commitment and Jesus, we will see these women transition into a new, hopeful and exciting life” (retrieved from http://www.freedomhousenm.org/about/).

“The mission of Out of Darkness, the anti-trafficking ministry of Atlanta Dream Center, is to reach, rescue, and restore all victims of commercial sexual exploitation, that the glory of God may be known. Commercial exploitation may take the form of stripping, pornography, prostitution, or sex trafficking” (http://outofdarkness.org/).

“Spoken For is an Albuquerque based organization that exists to confront sex trafficking in New Mexico. We are actively involved in the aftercare and advocacy of formerly trafficked individual in our state, educating our community through awareness campaigns, creating compelling dialog about human trafficking, modern slavery, and how to be a part of solutions that move our community closer to ending sex trafficking” (http://www.copperpointechurch.com/ministries/about/spoken_for).

Among other inspired visions that stem from our mission, the hearts of the FCS staff and Board of Directors are aflame with a vision to release and restore the lives of those who are in the chains of modern slavery. We are devoted to employing our resources and to partnering with other ministries to fulfill this vision, by God’s grace alone.

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You’re Invited!

We often talk at FCS about the fact that compassion is an awareness of the suffering of another, but it is, by definition, coupled with the desire to relieve it. At FCS we hold ourselves accountable to the principle that compassion is not true compassion unless it is coupled with the desire to do something. Perhaps God has touched you by what you have learned about the lives of women and children who have been sexually exploited or sexually trafficked and you want to do something about their suffering. You’re invited to join us! We would love to have you join our community by investing the resources God has given you into this work to which He has called us.


About the author:

Marty Goehring, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and an ordained Cumberland Presbyterian Minister. He is the Director of Formation Counseling Services, an Associate Pastor of Heights Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and an Adjunct Professor at Richmont Graduate University. The three life-long missions that Dr. Goehring pursues with passion are to assist the Spirit-driven process that forms Christ in people’s lives, to support the church in fulfilling its calling to be the primary provider of soul care in the community, and to inspire the church to mobilize its resources for the sake of spreading the gospel wide and taking it deep.